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Colossians 1:12-14


Intro:  Some people fear change!  I mean when anything deviates from the normal in their lives, they just can’t handle it.  I am reminded of the little old lady who stood up at a lecture that Dr. Werner Von Braun was giving and said to the good Doctor, "Why can't we forget about all these new-fangled ideas about going out into space and be content to stay at home and watch television like the good Lord intended."[1] Some folks have a hard time with change.

      In truth, some changes are negative in nature.  Events like death, aging, illness, etc are examples of negative changes.  But, some changes are positive.  Marriage, the birth of a child, buying a new home, getting a new job, are all examples of changes that can be beneficial and positive.

      In our text, Paul is talking about changes.  The changes he mentions are certainly not negative and they are far beyond positive.  Paul mentions some changes that a priceless in their benefit to us and in their contribution to our lives.  These changes take place in the life of every child of God when they are born again.  Today, I want to share with you the priceless changes that Paul mentioned in these three short verses.  I want you to understand that when the Lord saved your soul, He changed you and He changed some things in you and for you.  These changes are priceless, precious and profound.  These changes should be studied, remembered and cherished.  They should also serve as a catalyst for praise in our lives.  Let me share them with you today as I preach on the subject A Glorious Change For The Better.  Let’s notice the changes which are produced in every child of God.



A.  We Are A Prepared People – We are told that the Father “hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.”  The phrase “made us meet” simply means that we “have been qualified” by God to participate in His inheritance with those saints who have already been promoted to glory.

            When we came into this world, we were anything but qualified to participate in anything related to God the Father.  Think about it:

      1.  We were Dead in our Sins – Eph. 2:1

      2.  We were Separated from God by our Sins - Isa. 59:2

      3.  We are Children of the Devil – John 8:44

      4.  We were Doomed to Hell – 2 Thes. 1:8-9; Psa. 9:17

            That is a sad state of affairs, but it is where all people find themselves by virtue of their natural birth.  But, thanks be to God, as Paul said in verse 12; when we were born again, everything that was wrong with us was made right by the Lord! 

      1.  He Gave Us His Life – Eph. 2:5; John 10:28

      2.  He Reconciled Us To Himself – Rom. 5:6-10

      3.  He Adopted Us Into His Family – John 1:12; 1 John 3:1-13; Rom. 8:15

      4.  He Set Us On The Road To Heaven – John 14:1-3; John 17:24

      All of this happens when a sinner believes on Jesus for salvation. At the instant a lost sinner trusts Jesus for his soul’s salvation, that sinner becomes a saint of God.  He is literally a “new creature”.  He is “born again.”  He receives a fresh start.  Everything changes!  God in His awesome, soul-saving, sin-killing power instantly and eternally prepares that child of God and makes them worthy to enter His presence, His family and His heaven.  We call this wonderful gift Justification.  It simply refers to the act of God declaring a sinner to be right with God. Justification is God’s gracious gift to every repenting believing sinner, Rom. 5:1, 9.  That is what God meant when He said that He had qualified us.  No wonder Paul told his readers to give thanks to God!

B.  We Are A Privileged People – The Bible mentions an “inheritance.”  Because we are now in the family of God, we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, Rom. 8:17.  We are privileged to partake in truly wonderful blessings.  Paul said it this way: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ,” Eph. 1:3.  Just take a moment to reflect on some of the wonderful possessions that are ours just because we are saved by His grace:

      1.  We Are Heirs Of Eternal Life – Titus 3:7, “That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

      2.  We Are Heirs Of Salvation - Hebrews 1:14, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”

      3.  We Are Heirs Of The Promises Made To Abraham - Galatians 3:29, “And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Ill. Rom. 4:13)

      4.  We Are Heirs Of Glory - Romans 8:17, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

      5.  We Are Heirs Of The Eternal Inheritance - Hebrews 9:15, “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”

      6.  The list of the things we are heirs to could literally go on and on.  But, these few blessings are enough for us to know that we are a privileged people.  Here’s the deal, God loved us; Jesus died for us; the Holy Spirit drew us; and God saved us by His grace.  We did nothing and we deserved nothing, yet He gives us everything when we come to Jesus for salvation!  Our station in life has been dramatically changed!  We could echo the words of David in Psalm 40:1-3!


            (Ill. Once a king asked an assembly of nobles what right they had to claim the lands they owned.  To a man, they stood drew their swords and declared, “We won our lands by the power of the sword, and we will keep them by the same power.”

                  Well, friends, we are absolutely hopeless and lost in our sins when Jesus came and set us free.  Anything we have we owe to Him and to the power of His saving grace.  I am saved today, not because I earned it, deserve it or purchased it; but because He loved me and saved me by grace, Eph. 2:8-9.  Therefore, to Him be all the glory for what I have today!)



A.  The Reality Of Our Lost Condition – In man’s lost condition, he is under “the power of darkness.”  That is, he is held captive by a cruel master, who wants nothing less that the soul’s eternal captivity in death, darkness, sin and hell.  The word “power” has the idea of “authority or jurisdiction.”  This horrible condition is described in detail in Eph. 2:1-3.  Lost men and women are not in control of their own destinies.  They are lead about by the whim of Satan.  As a result, the people trapped in this bondage give their lives to the pursuit of sin and evil deeds, Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Eph. 4:17-19.  You see, lost people do what they do because they are what they are!  They are trapped in their sins and they carry out the will of their master the devil.  Theirs is a hopeless and helpless condition!  By the way, regardless of where we may be in our spiritual walk today; there was a time when we were also trapped in a desperate and lost condition, 1 Cor. 6:11.

B.  The Reality Of Our Liberated Condition – Against a backdrop of such horror, Paul declares a glorious truth: he tells us that we have been “delivered” from that awful bondage!  When God saved us by His mighty grace, He broke the bonds that held us and forever set us free!  The very word “deliver” tells the tale.  It means, “to draw to oneself; to rescue; to deliver.”  That is just what the Lord Jesus did for us when He saved us by His grace.  He reached into our lost situation and drew us to Himself.  He rescued us by His power and He delivered us from our darkness, our bondage, our sentence and our sin.  He set us free!

            When God rescued us from darkness, several great things took place.  Let me share a few with you today.

      1.  We Are Instantly Delivered – What Jesus did for us was not a gradual thing.  One moment, we were hell bound sinners, the next; we are children of God! Salvation is not a process, it is an instantaneous event! (Ill. The thief on the cross – Luke 23:39-43; The Ethiopian Eunuch – Acts 8:37; The Philippian Jailer – Acts 16:31-34; Me!  When I got saved, it did not take all day.  It happened in an instant!)

      2.  We Are Powerfully Delivered - It is described as a “new birth,” John 3:3, 7.  At the instant of salvation, we are made “new creatures,” 2 Cor. 5:17.  The power of the enemy is forever broken and we are set free!  Like a mighty Hero, Jesus entered the dungeon of our sin, incapacitated the enemy and set us free, Luke 4:18; John 8:32.

      2.  We Are Eternally Delivered – What Jesus does for His people is not a temporary fix; it is an eternal solution.  The Bible is clear about this matter.  When Jesus Christ saves a soul, He does it for good, 1 Pet. 1:5; John 10:28; John 6:37.  In fact, if a believer could ever lose his or her salvation; they could not be saved again unless Jesus returned to this earth through the Virgin Mary; lived a perfect sinless life; duplicated His life in every detail; died again on the cross and rose again from the dead, Heb. 6:4-6.  (Ill. You had better hope a Christian can’t lose his salvation!  If he did, he would be lost forever!  By the way, if the devil could get even one of God’s children, he would not stop until all were lost again.)


      (Ill. Nothing but the power of God can accomplish this!  Once as Dr. Harry Ironside preached in a certain place, he noticed a man in the crowd writing on a card, which he presently handed to the speaker.  The man was Arthur Lewis, an agnostic lecturer, and he proposed a challenge to Dr. Ironside to debate the subject “Agnosticism versus Christianity,” and offered to pay all the expenses involved in the debate.

            Dr. Ironside read the card aloud to the audience and then said, “I accept your challenge on these conditions:

            “First, that you promise to bring with you on the platform one man who was once an outcast, a slave to sinful habits, but who heard you or some other infidel lecture on agnosticism and was helped by it and cast away his sins and became a new man and is today a respected member of society, all because of your unbelief.

            “Second, that you agree to bring with you one woman who was once lost to all purity and goodness, but who can now testify that agnosticism came to her while deep in sin and implanted in her poor heart a hatred of impurity and a love of holiness, causing her to become chaste and upright, all through a disbelief in the bible.

            “Now sir,” he continued, “if you will agree, I promise to be there with one hundred such men and woman, once just such lost souls, who heard the Gospel of the grace of God, believe it and have found new life and joy in Jesus Christ our Savior.  Will you accept my terms?”

            As might be expected, the atheist could only walk away in silence.[2])



A.  We Have A New Realm – Jesus did not just bring us out of the devil’s kingdom, He brought us into His Own kingdom!  The Bible says that we have been “translated.”  This world means “to transfer; to move from one place to another.”  When Jesus saved us, He transferred us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.

            In the natural world, there is no such translation from one kingdom into another.  A vegetable never becomes an animal.  A mineral cannot be transferred into the kingdom of plants.  There are certain boundaries set in the natural world that are impossible to cross.  But, in the spiritual realm, God, by His mighty, saving power is able to take an old sinner and transfer him from the kingdom of death and darkness in the kingdom of light and life, John 5:24.  He literally moves us from one spiritual realm to another by His great grace.


      (Ill. Because we are in a new kingdom, we are subject to new laws and rules for living.   The blessed assurance that we have been delivered from the power of sin and of Satan is one of the greatest blessings we believers miss out on as we pass through these lives.  We are always praying for the Lord to deliver us from sin’s power, or from the power of the devil.  Friends, He already has!  Instead of seeking freedom from these things, we need to learn to live in the freedom that we have already been given by the Lord Jesus, Rom. 6:2, 7, 11, 14.  Thank God we are free!  Hallelujah!  Free, free, eternally free!)


B.  We Have A New Ruler – Before, we are under the domain of the devil.  He did not care for us in the least.  All he wants is to dishonor the Name of the Lord.  He wants every one of his subjects to live their lives in darkness and eventually drop off into Hell.  He could care less about our peace, our joy, our well being or our salvation.  But, when we came to Jesus and were saved by His grace, we entered into His kingdom.  When we did, we came under the dominion of One Who loves us more than life itself. He gives us everything the old master. The devil would not give and could not give his subjects.  Jesus gives us eternal life, hope, salvation, peace and joy.  He loves us; He cares about us; He is ever with us; and He carries us in His heart, Matt. 11:28; 1 Pet. 5:7. 


Conc: In the 1780s, Ben Franklin and the Duke of Orleans sent up a hot air balloon over France. As it descended into a farmer's field, people rushed at it with sticks, pitch-forks and clubs. They attacked it in a frenzy and beat it, certain it was the moon, having fallen to earth.[3] Some people have a hard time with change!

      Well, the moon hasn’t fallen upon us today; but Heaven sure has showered its blessings upon us!  Paul tells us that all of these glorious changes are possible because of what the Bible says in Verse 14.  There, Paul tells us that in Jesus and as members of His kingdom, we have and enjoy:

1.  Redemption through His blood – We have been purchased out of the slavery of our sins and brought into the family of God by grace.

2.  Forgiveness of sins – Every evil thing we ever did; every mark that stood against us, has been forever removed and washed away.  We are as clean in the eyes of God as if sin had never, is not now, or will ever be a part of our lives!  (Ill. Psa. 103:12; Isa. 38:17; 43:25; Jer. 50:20; Micah 7:19; 1 John 1:7)

      These things are ours by His grace through faith.  They are the product of the glorious changes for the better that He works out in the lives of each of His children.  Thank God for these things!  They are precious and they are priceless!  They ought to make us praise His name and exalt Him while there is breathe in these bodies.

      But, the question today is this: Has Jesus made this change in your life?  Have you trusted Him for your soul’s salvation and have you experienced a change in your station, you status and your standing?  Has Jesus made a difference in your life?  If you have ever truly met Him, then He has.  If there has been no change in your life, then you haven’t met the Jesus of the Bible.

      If you need to be saved, you can be today.  You can come to Jesus and He will change you by His power.  If there is a need to come before Him to thank Him for all that He has done, you can do that as well.  Whatever the needs in your life may be today, there is one place and one Person to bring them too.  If you will bring them to Him, He will change everything that needs to be changed today.  

[1] http://elbourne.org/sermons/index.mv?illustration+1223

[2] Knight’s Master Book of 4,000 Illustrations, Page 709-710

[3] http://elbourne.org/sermons/index.mv?illustration+1220

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